Video game publisher and developer Ubisoft has been hit with several controversies recently including Assassin's Creed Unity's broken launch state and questionable legal policies. But as Unity, Tetris Ultimate and The Crew were all hampered by issues at launch, Ubi's open-world shooter Far Cry 4 was released without too much of a hitch.
Having reviewed rather well, some fans are already talking up ideas for a sequel. This week it was revealed that Ubisoft is looking at possible spinoffs for the franchise that could include dinosaurs, vampires and zombies. But before Ubisoft gets to work on the future of Far Cry they will need to address one big issue: the latest game stopped showing up on the Xbox One store yesterday. Although it had a smooth launch, Far Cry 4 has now become the latest Ubisoft casualty.
Reports of the game's disappearance surfaced when gamers noted that Far Cry 4 couldn't be accessed on the Xbox One store this week. Players could search for it but trying to get to the game's listing would result in an error. Whilst listing errors are going to prevent people from buying the game, there were major issues for existing Far Cry 4 players too with one player telling Kotaku that despite having purchased the game on day one and having unlocked every available achievement, the game throws up an error when he tries to load it on his Xbox One. Bizarrely though, some other players were still able to access the game and it didn't affect everybody.
But what is causing the issues? After users across the United States and the United Kingdom reported problems, Ubisoft community manager Mr_Shade released the following statement on Ubisoft's official forums:
"The team are actively investigating the issue this side, however it's also worth contacting Xbox support - since it appears that the game has been removed from the Store - this has happened for some - please check if it's still available to you - if not, it 'could' be related to that, which MS are investigating too - however as I say, Ubisoft are looking into the issue as a matter of urgency."
After waiting some time (around 12 hours), those affected were greeted by a seamless fix. Far Cry 4 showed back up on the Xbox One store and the game was able to be played and purchase once more. But is this really the end of the Far Cry 4 troubles? This isn't the first time that this particular issue has been reported. Back in December, reddit user willtomorrow posted that
"I can access all other the other games I attempted to via the Store interface. I hard reset my Xbox/Router and have still been unable to play the title. It's been about 12 hours now that I've been unable to play the game, despite having had no issues for the last week or so."
On the forums, Ubisoft community managers suggest the following if it's still not working for you:
If you're still experiencing this issue, please can you try hard resetting your console to see if this resolves the issue for you.
To hard reset, please press and hold the power button on the front of your console.
Please can you let us know if this has resolved the issue for you.
Ubisoft also faced similar problems with digital PC game distributor Steam back in November when several Ubisoft's games (including Assassin's Creed Unity and The Crew) were pulled from the platform suddenly, only to show up again a day later. Back then we received no explanation as to why it happened, leading many to speculate about a fallout between Ubisoft and Valve (the team behind Steam).
Are we seeing a dispute between Microsoft and Ubisoft here? PlayStation did get exclusive Far Cry 4 content after all but for now the publisher is staying quiet. We'll let you know should they release a confirmation.